Geology, Minor

School of Earth and Sustainability

College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences

The minor in geology attracts students who are curious about geologic hazards, the evolution of the Earth, and what lies beneath the landscape here, in Arizona, or elsewhere around the globe. The program incorporates fieldwork, laboratory experience, and specialized computer programs that help unveil the secrets of the Earth’s infrastructure.

  • A minor is earned in conjunction with a bachelor's degree.

    To receive a minor (18 - 24 units) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject matter areas with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0. At least 12 units of the minor must be unique to that minor and not applied to any other minor.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

No more than fifty percent of the units used to satisfy minor requirements may be used to satisfy major requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 21 - 23

Purpose Statement 

This minor gives students a base of knowledge of geologic materials, Earth history, and basic geologic field techniques, then allows them to select courses that are most relevant to their interests. The minor prepares students though fieldwork, laboratory experiences, and the application of specialized computer programs. It is a perfect complement for students across the natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities for whom the Earth, its history, and characteristics are interesting and relevant. Geologic knowledge is valued by a broad swath of employers in the fields of environmental planning, resource management, business, and education. 

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  1. Distinguish between different types of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks and be able to communicate how they are formed.
  2. Use and apply the geologic timescale to decipher rates and processes in Earth history.
  3. Apply basic geologic techniques through hands on practice solving geologic problems in the field and laboratory.
  4. Obtain relevant specialized knowledge through course work in several geologic subdisciplines.

Minor Requirements
  • Students enrolled in this minor may not enroll in or pursue the following due to the number of overlapping units:

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.